The Newcomer Learning Academy (NLA) is a four-year program for students aged 14-20 who have arrived in the United States within the past year. At its core, it is an accelerated and intensive course of English language study. NLA provides extra support for students who have gaps in their formal education.
In addition, NLA staff foster a nurturing school environment to help students adjust to their new school in a new country. Students take class trips that introduce them to the city’s historic and contemporary sites and get practical life lessons, like how to negotiate the bus and train system. All NLA staff have cultural sensitivity and trauma awareness training.
Students at NLA must complete School District of Philadelphia requirements for high school students. In order to support students as they learn English with high school content courses, teachers build on students’ language, cultural, and academic assets to increase their mastery of content knowledge.